TO THE EDITOR:
There seems to be no belief today that divorced and remarried Catholics who go to Mass experience graces for standing in front of the Lord and saying, ‘We know we are sinners but we are here seeking your grace. Thank you for allowing us to be here with you too, we love you.’ In fact, I would not be surprised if the Lord is more loving and grateful for this effort, their gestures, and their truth than for all the efforts of the rest of us sinners in the pews.
Father Najim is falling into line with the current Vatican game playing with a hard problem. But it is game playing that he is describing, not mercy or justice. It is not pastoral. He has gotten caught up in the acting of helping Joe and Maria. He wanted them to ‘win’ in the annulment game. Joe lost. Why did Joe lose? Because the official tribunal said that Joe actually was still married. He has a spiritual bond with his first wife that can’t be broken. Because he didn’t win, Father Najim is trying to find a way for them to win — when actually perhaps they have already won by the initial solution described above.
I know I probably sound harsh but I don’t mean to be. I thought about Father’s questions — do I believe the Lord will punish this couple? I believe the Lord is love. I don’t know what the Lord will do. But I do know the Lord said divorce causes the other to become an adulterer (if remarried). Joe has a problem and so does his ex-wife if they are believers. It is a hard problem. It is shared in by Maria. It is shared by the community. And here is where I think Pope Francis gets it right. We should not judge Joe and Maria. We should help them live in the community but we should also not accept the scandal of Communion when obviously, there is a spiritual problem.
Dunkirk, New York